Wet Felting Slippers

Craig and I have been asked to be the (Faery)Godparents to our friend Robert and Ines’s daughter Luca (who is a terror on two legs at 18 months). We of course accepted with much joy and I have gotten right into the spoiling stage of things *grin*

I’ve made my first (hopefully) successful pair of wet felted baby slippers (with the carded wool from the other day). 

Photo 1: Rubbing the felt over the new washboard that Craig and I made a few days ago – works amazingly well. Wet Felting on Washboard

Photo 2: I cut the slippers in half and removed the pattern from inside, rubbed them again on the washboard with boiling water and then stuffed them full of newspaper to dry (I’m hoping the paper will help to encourage them to keep their shape, although I’m told wool has shape memory).

Stuffed Slippers

Unfortunately one slipper seems to be a little bigger then the other one, I’m not sure how this happened.

This I noticed when doing this style of slipper was that I managed to get seems around the edges of the slippers, which is now on the base of the feet. I’ve tried to smooth them out as much as possible but I’m not sure if it’s enough. Craig is going to sew in a leather sole to help with the longer lasting but I’m sure Luca will grow out of them before they die.

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Further experiments with felt

I’ve been playing around with more felting techniques, specifically needle felting. I made my first little needle felted person:

Felted Man

and a crocodile:

Crocodile

these were both done with different techniques (sorry I forgot to take photos). The little man has a wire frame body that I built it up with carded fleece and the crocodile I made by simply getting a cookie cutter and stuffing it with carded fleece and took at it with the felting needle (specifically designed VERY sharp barbed needles that really hurt when they go into your fingers instead of the wool).

I followed the instructions from this website for making the felted man, they also have patterns and instructions for a few other things like a bear and an alpaca. The instructions, in my opinion, are written for people who have a little experience with needle felting and aren’t strictly for beginners.

I’m thinking of making several felted animals, like the crocodile, for baby toys, mobiles, that sort of thing. This idea came from a video I watched on youtube for making small felted items with a stencil for card decorations. I simply improved on the stencil idea by using a cookie cutter and kept packing in the felt as I needled, turning it over as I went.

I also tried to make a pair of wet felted booties using instructions from peak.org. The theory is sound enough and I have seen it work, mine however, were a complete failure and didn’t hold together at all. I think this was more due to me rushing through the process rather then any fault in the instructions. I also think that I overlapped too much felt at the edges. Another source for instructions and patterns for wet felted boots for bigger feet can be found here.

I really want to share this video I foun, also on youtube, featuring the Mongolians felt making process, from sheep to yurt cover, I found it fascinating.